You may not think of Charleston, West Virginia as a particularly dog-friendly town. But then, you probably haven't spent much time there. If you walk around this small city, you will be greeted by plenty of dog people and their canine companions.
For a small city, there are an amazing number of places where dogs are welcomed with open doors. It probably wouldn't surprise you to be told your dog is welcome at the amphitheater on the Kanawha River, or that you can take your dog with you to a number of city parks and river walks. But did you know that there are places that are primarily for people and their dogs? There are at least three coffee places where your pooch is welcome, and plenty of restaurants that offer outdoor seating for you and your furry dining companion. There is even an ice cream parlor that will provide Frosty Paws for your puppy. Or for you, if you really want it.
Of course, all of these wonderful establishments, parks, and walking trails require your dog to wear a leash, which usually, isn't a problem. But sometimes you need to give your puppy a chance to just be a dog, to run around, and to bark and play unencumbered. And in Charleston, there's really one place for that: The Ruth Rafferty Peyton Dog Park.
Ruth Rafferty Peyton was a long-time resident of Charleston, who served on several boards and did a lot of volunteer work with the local humane society. She was also a true dog person, volunteering with local rescue groups and having a small pack herself. So it's no surprise that they named the dog park after her.
Ruth Rafferty Peyton Dog Park is a rather small park, only about a city block. It is completely fenced, with a nice double-gate for safety. There are benches for you throughout the park. There is no separate enclosure for small dogs. There are, however, plenty of dog bags and fountains for water for both you and your pet. What really makes this dog park nice are the efforts of the many volunteers who help maintain it and keep it clean, in keeping with Mrs. Peyton's personal mission statement that cleanliness is a key component to caring for animals.